Does Your Vote Count? Casting Ballots in Cuyahoga County
CLEVELAND: Panelists will present diverse views on the causes of Cuyahoga County’s Election Day problems in May 2006 and the best solutions for ensuring accessible voting and accurate, timely vote-counting at noon on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, at The City Club of Cleveland.
Roslyn Talerico, vice president of the League of Women Voters-Cuyahoga Area and representative of the Greater Cleveland Voter Coalition, will serve as moderator.
On May 2, 2006, Cuyahoga County held its first elections using new electronic voting machines. The transition from punch cards to electronic machines was far from smooth. Some of the new machines couldn’t be operated by poll workers, several vote-counting memory cards disappeared, many poll workers did not report for duty, the printed format of absentee ballots was incompatible with the optical scan equipment, and the subsequent hand-counting of 18,000 ballots delayed results for six days. Cuyahoga County’s Board of Elections and its director, Michael Vu, have been embroiled in controversy and conflict ever since.
Who was at fault? Was it Director Vu or incompetent employees entrenched in their patronage jobs long before he took the helm at the Board of Elections? Was it the voting machine company or the absentee ballot printing company? Was it inadequate training of poll workers or poll workers incapable of being trained to work with electronic touch screens?
Panelists are as follows:
· Cleveland Municipal Judge Ronald Adrine, chair of the Cuyahoga Election Review Panel that investigated the causes and scope of problems that occurred in the county’s May primary elections
· Dr. Victoria Lovegren, director of Ohio Vigilance, a watchdog organization that investigates election abnormalities
· Michael Vu, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Tickets for this City Club Special Program are $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Lunch is included. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance of the event. They can be purchased by calling The City Club at 216.621.0082 or visiting the website at www.cityclub.org.